Oracle Galaxy Licensing – Oracle Vs Mars

Oracle Galaxy Licensing – Oracle Vs Mars

I first used the term Oracle Galaxy Licensing On October 14th, 2014 in a blog article on Oracle Database licensing on VMware vSphere Resources? What I mean by Oracle Galaxy Licensing is if a server is in this Galaxy, Oracle will expect you to pay them for it, on the chance you might deploy an Oracle database there some day. I know this seems very far fetched, but given how aggressive Oracle is when it comes to licensing, this seemed like a natural conclusion of where we were headed. 

For those who read my blog with skepticism the recent court battle between Mars Corporation and Oracle is a perfect example of Oracle Galaxy licensing in action.

Oracle Galaxy Licensing - Oracle Vs Mars









Oracle Galaxy Licensing

To Quote my October 14th blog article on on Oracle database licensing on vSphere ResourcesThe idea of Galaxy licensing comes to mind. Here is an example of what I mean by Galaxy licensing. If in your organization you have a 4-node cluster. Oracle stance would be that you have to license all 4 nodes. Even if the software had never been run or installed on 2 of those nodes.

Think about this, you have never installed or run the Oracle database on 2 of the nodes, why would Oracle ever be entitled to additional licensee fees.? You might even have set up affinity rules within vSphere that prevented the database from running on two of those nodes. Oracle would still tell you and would expect that you license all 4 nodes.

What is next; Oracle Galaxy licensing? Where my servers are in the same Galaxy, so I owe oracle additional license fees. To me this is just another way that FUD is being used to maximize revenue. First we had Oracle Audits, now we have a new licensing scheme Oracle Galaxy licensing all designed have you spend more money with Oracle.

How to Determine what you owe Oracle for Software Licensing

When determining what you owe oracle for licenses the only thing that is relevant is the details in your contract. Let me say that again. When determining what you owe oracle for licenses the only thing that is relevant is the details in your contract.

Take this concept a step farther, to determine what you owe any software vendor, look to the terms of the contract you signed.

Mars Candy Meets Oracle Galaxy Licensing

To really drive home the point of Oracle lives in a world where they think Galaxy Licensing is their right. I am going to quote the PCworld Article “What does an Oracle audit look like? This one certainly wasn’t pretty” by Katherine Noyes.

Oracle is at least as well-known for its aggressive licensing tactics as for its namesake database technology, and a recent dispute makes it clear that that reputation isn’t entirely unfounded.

In September 2014 Oracle launched what it calls a “license review” of customer Mars Inc., the confectionery company. That’s a common enough occurrence, but this one turned particularly ugly. After providing a whopping 233,089 pages of documentation at its own expense in its efforts over several months to satisfy Oracle’s demands, it said, Mars finally filed a lawsuit last fall in a San Francisco Superior Court petitioning the court to order Oracle to scale back its audit efforts.

Galaxy Licensing in Action

Here is where the article gets really interesting….

Oracle demanded information to which it is not contractually entitled regarding servers that do not run Oracle software and Mars personnel who do not use Oracle software,” Mars’ complaint read. “Oracle made these demands under false pretenses under false premises that non-use of software nonetheless somehow constitutes licensable use of software for which Mars owes Oracle.”

In particular, Oracle asserted that because Mars was using VMware version 5.1 or higher, even servers and clusters not running Oracle must be licensed as well, Mars manager Eloise Backer explained in a declaration.

I would highly recommend you read the entire article “What does an Oracle audit look like? This one certainly wasn’t pretty” by Katherine Noyes.

This sounds like an attempt at Oracle Galaxy Licensing to me, but you be the judge.

How to Avoid Being the next victim of Oracle Galaxy Licensing

To avoid being the victim of Oracle Galaxy licensing. Get help from Knowledgable experts. Seek out good legal advice.

A friend of mine Robert Scott managing partner with Scott & Scott LLP was quoted in the article. Mars’ audit experience was not uncommon. When you work with a firm like Rob’s, you are getting advice from experts that really understand software licensing.

VIP: When it comes to software licensing Don’t try to wing it or do it on your own. You will pay a very steep price later, if you undergo an audit and are found to be wrong.

Working with a knowledgeable legal firm like Scott & Scott LLP when it comes to software licensing is good advice.

Attend MSPworld

Rob is a frequent speaker at MSPWorld on Legal issues for Organizations in Managed Services. The advice that robs shares on software licensing at MSPWorld is advice any business owner could benefit from. Not sure you need to involve a lawyer, then come attend Rob’s session at the next MSPWorld at the Swan and Dolphin in Orlando this April 3-5. The early bird cost of admission is just $199.00, It very well may be the best $199.00 ?you have ever spent.

If you attend MSPWorld, look me up. Its one of the must attend conferences I attend every year.

Mars – Resistance is not Futile

Lets face it. Mars took the path less travelled. They stood up for themselves and would not allow Mars to be another victim of Oracle Galaxy Licensing. We always have a choice of who we do business with. As we deploy new systems we should understand our obligations to the software vendors products we use. So we understand the true cost of using their software over time. Oracle makes great database software. I would also argue that Microsoft makes great database software.

Larry Ellison Gremlin










Resources On Licensing Oracle for VMware

There are a number of great resources out there for you to better understand your obligations when deploying Oracle software on VMware. For Example:

Understanding Oracle Certification, Support and Licensing for VMware Environments

On my Blog, I have a useful Links Section It is loaded with lots of great resources for anyone working with Oracle databases or Microsoft SQL Server databases. Its worth taking a look at.

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